Early second language reading development: An extension of home literacy modes

Michael Wei, Yalun Zhou


There is “surprisingly” little evidence on the impact of language minority parents on their children and on the links between family literacy experience and literacy outcomes (August & Shanahan, 2008). This participant observation case study demonstrates a Chinese-American family’s efforts in this regard. The detailed descriptions of how an ESL child quickly became able to read in English and receive grade-level reading instruction provide evidence of language minority parents’ contributions to early second language (L2) reading acquisition. The depictions of when, what, and how this  immigrant family became involved with and intervened in their child’s L2 reading complement the quantitative design of Home Literacy Model and fill research gaps in L2 literacy by informing a minority child’s complete process from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. Some insider’s suggestions to language minority parents, schools, and home literacy practitioners regarding early L2 reading enhancement are also provided.


Second language reading; Home literacy; ESL

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